High-Level Thoughts

The best book I’ve seen on attraction and dating strategy. It’s not about being scummy and pickup-y, rather focusing on becoming a more attractive, honest person, and getting over the insecurities that get in most guys’ way. Highly recommend it, as do most of my friends who have read a few dating books.

Summary Notes

What’s Attractive

You don’t have to be rich and famous to be attractive, but you should display the qualities that show you have potential to be rich and famous, which is indicated by your social status and behavior, which is indicated by how you behave around others, how others behave around you, and how you treat yourself.

Both men and women are aroused by being desired, but since female arousal is more psychological than male arousal, the sense of “being desired” is even stronger in determining a woman being attracted to a man. This is why the more physical assertiveness you pursue a woman with, the more aroused she becomes, even if she wasn’t interested in you to begin with. Bold and aggressive pursuit can turn a woman on to the point where she comes around and wants to get to know you. (The pickup term for this is “sarging”)

“It’s important to relate this back to the original dichotomy of female attraction and arousal mentioned earlier in the chapter. Status attracts women, but by itself, it only attracts them in a way that they want to be your girlfriend, not jump your bones. It’s a psychological, long-term, identity-level attraction. On the other hand, being physically assertive and sexually forthright triggers a woman’s sexual arousal and makes her want to have sex, often right then and there, and often even if she rejects your advances two or three or ten times.”

How attractive a man is is proportional to his True Confidence, simply, being less invested in other people’s perceptions of you than in your perception of yourself.

The way to build true confidence and become more attractive is to invest heavily in oneself, women are typically more attracted to men who are more invested in themselves than they are in them.

“If you’re at the top of the food chain, you have no reason to be inhibited or to defer to others (unless you want to). If you’re at the bottom of the food chain, your entire life will revolve around the deferring to others.”

Set very high standards and stick to them, don’t waste time with anyone who doesn’t meet those standards. This goes for casual sex and serious dating, know what you want and what you’ll put up with, and what you won’t. If someone isn’t meeting those standards, move on.

“So the catch is that everything you say must be as authentic as possible. There’s no shortcut. There are no tricks. You say it because you mean it and mean it because you say it. The more nervous it makes you, the better, because it means you’re being authentic and making yourself vulnerable. How attractive you are is based on your confident behavior. Your confident behavior is based on how vulnerable you’re able to make yourself. And how vulnerable you’re able to make yourself is based on how honest you are to yourself and others.”

Don’t try to “be cool” and “act like you’re not interested,” by honestly expressing your interest in dating someone, you shortcut the “invsetment paradox” and demonstrate both interest and confidence at the same time. If a guy weren’t fearless about being rejected, he wouldn’t have the confidence to honestly express his attraction to a woman. This is “True Honesty”.

What you actually say doesn’t matter nearly as much as why and how you say it.

Dating Strategy

Rejection is a good thing, it saves you time filtering them out later.

If you don’t find a woman attractive, don’t approach her. It’s not practice, it’s desperation.

Think of splitting women you’re interested in into three categories: Receptive, Neutral, and Unreceptive:

  • Unreceptive is when they’re simply not interested for whatever reasons in their life. Don’t waste time trying to win them over.
  • Neutral is when a woman is on the fence about a guy. Men usually know yes/no whether we want to sleep with someone quickly, women spend more time in the grey zone.
  • Women don’t stay here forever though, they will always polarize one way or the other, and if you don’t show clear interest in them then they will move towards unreceptive (i.e. the Friend Zone)
  • The goal with neutral women is to take polarizing action that forces them to decide if they like you or not: touch them, ask them out, tease them, flirt with them, etc.
  • Showing desire isn’t a problem, but showing it in a way that communicates being overinvested is.
  • Receptive women are already sexually attracted to you. You can tell from them initiating with you (eye contact, approaching, touching, etc), or reciprocating your advances enthusiastically.
  • Reciprocating is leaning in to your touch, making an effort to stay near you, touching you back, etc.
  • Your strategy will be different depending on which category a woman is in:
  • As soon as she’s clearly unreceptive, ditch her, or keep her as a friend. Don’t try to move them out of unreceptive, it’s not worth it.
  • The goal with Neutral women is to get them to stop being neutral as soon as possible.
  • “If you express your truth and demonstrate not only that you’re confident but also frictionless for her (similar interests, values, life situation, etc.), then she will become very Receptive. And when I say very Receptive, I mean very.”But don’t try to act in a way to make every woman like you, then you’re pining for approval again. You need to elicit a reaction, good or bad.You do this by making yourself vulnerable, sharing yourself unabashedly, and polarizing her one way or the other and being comfortable with whichever result.Mark’s Favorite question for neutral women: “What’s Your Favorite Thing in the World”?
  • Receptive women you just need to escalate with, don’t treat them like their Neutral or Unreceptive. If a woman moves from Neutral to Receptive, and you don’t escalate, she’ll drift back to Neutral, so you have to keep the momentum.
  • “The percentage of women who are Receptive to you will increase proportionally to the quality of your lifestyle, your social status and your looks. The percentage of women that you’re able to move from Neutral to Receptive will be proportional to how good your “game” is, or how well you’re able to communicate and express yourself with women. And your ability to sort through each type of women and meet as many as possible will be determined by how fearless and bold you are when it comes to meeting women.”

The Three Fundamentals

  1. Creating an attractive and enriching lifestyle. (Honest living)
  2. Overcoming your fears and anxiety around women. (Honest action)
  3. Mastering the expression of your emotions and communicating fluidly. (Honest communication)

Honest Living

“What I recommend to every man before he even begins talking to women is to sit down for a while and ask himself some questions:

  • What do you value in a woman? Honesty? Affection? Intelligence? Curiosity? Similar interests? Education?
  • Women with the traits that you value, where do they frequent? Where are you most likely to find them?
  • What do you enjoy doing most? Do you love to read/write? Do you play music? Do you enjoy sports and competitions? What are events or organizations that you can become involved in that explore your hobbies?

How to be interesting:

  1. Develop artistic tastes
  2. Try new things
  3. Have opinions – the easiest way to be interesting is to have an opinion one way or the other, and not worry about people being insulted by your opinion

Honest Action

“I personally think anxiety is the biggest culprit when it comes to preventing men from being attractive and successfully meeting and dating women. You remove anxiety, and trial-and-error will take care of most of the rest.”

How to break your own pattern:

  1. Take a moment and think about what you’re most anxious about. Is it approaching? Is it showing sexual interest? Is it asking a woman out? Is it the first kiss?
  2. Now write down your pattern with it. So for instance, “Calling women, pattern is apathy,” or “Approaching women, pattern is blame game.”
  3. Now, create a goal for yourself, for instance, “Call every phone number I get, no matter how much I don’t care.” Write it down.
  4. Tell a friend or a buddy what you plan on doing and ask him to keep you accountable.

To up motivation, masturbate only once a week without porn.

Attack anxiety through consistent, incremental exposure:

  1. Approach a few womaen each day just to ask for the time
  2. Once that stops feeling difficult, ask them how their day is going afterwards
  3. Keep making it harder until you can walk up to women by telling them you think they’re attractive and asking them out on a date.

“Greater boldness leads to greater polarization” and “always err on the side of aggression.”

Honest Communication

There’s no such thing as a guy who’s good with women who isn’t sometimes creepy. If you’re open about your sexuality, that’s going to weird some women out, but that’s fine since you don’t want them anyway.

“For instance, let’s say you meet a woman and just come right out and say, “I think you’re beautiful, I’d like to take you on a date.” it’s one of the most powerful and practical things you can say. Not only is it vulnerable, as we’ve discussed at length, but it also builds far more sexual tension. ”

Improving your honest, more deep communication:

  1. Becoming aware of your own emotions, motivations and life story.
  2. Taking the lead by sharing those emotions, motivations and life story first.
  3. Sharing first creates trust and encourages her to open up and share herself in return.
  4. Ideally, the more this goes on, the more personal the stories become and the deeper the emotions in which you connect with.

“When in doubt on how to approach a woman, simply walk up and introduce yourself and explain to her that you wanted to meet her. I know this sounds drab and boring. But remember, it’s not about entertaining her; it’s about exuding confidence and genuine interest in her. During the day, I often prep the introduction by saying something like, “Excuse me, this is kind of random…” Also during the day, I usually tell them that I think they’re cute.


If you’re getting a lot of rejections, it’s one of these problems:

  1. You’re presenting yourself poorly — i.e., you dress poorly, bad looks, bad style, bad body language. Review Chapters 8 and 9 again.
  2. Your intentions are off. You’re approaching for the wrong reasons. The wrong reasons include anything that is not, “She’s cute, I want to meet her.”
  3. You’re startling her / trying too hard / not smiling

Questions Versus Statements: Creating threads of conversation through statement is far more powerful than questions. This is because it assumes rapport and makes conversations more personally instantly.

Instead of asking her a question about herself, you guess the answer to your question and then state it. Here are some examples:

  • “Where are you from?” translates to: “You look like a California girl.”
  • “What do you do for work?” translates to: “You seem to be a creative person. I bet your job is interesting.”
  • “How do you guys know each other?” translates to: “You guys look like you’ve been friends for a long time.”

You should cold-read as much as possible. Any time you’re asking a question that requires a factual answer; take a stab at the answer instead of asking.

It’s better to be random and interesting than predictable and boring. Don’t be afraid to just blurt something out.

If you teach yourself to recognize jump off points and take advantage of them as soon as possible, you’ll be able to sustain a conversation with almost anybody indefinitely.


Break a date into 3 distinct chunks, don’t just go do one thing. At least one of the three things should have opportunities for touching and closeness:

  • Meet for coffee -> get ice cream down the street -> check out the big swing in the park -> shopping at quirky book store
  • Salsa class -> Drinks next door afterwards -> walk around neighborhood -> Your apartment
  • Interactive Improv comedy show -> Walk through the local park -> Dancing at a lounge near her place

If you tihnk you can kiss her, you probably could have 10 minutes ago.

Note: There is a very good “Game plan” in the back of the book.

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